What the Dispatch Magazines staff is reading, watching and listening to this week

READING: All the 2018 year-in-review lists

I’m a sucker for end-of-year lists. Whether it’s the best movies, best books, best albums or best dads, I will read them all. December is notorious for being a cultural dry spell. Outside of the movie department, new releases for books, albums, concerts, etc. are scarce this month. That makes this the perfect time to take a look back at anything you may have missed in the past 365 days. On my list of things I missed this year but plan to check out are the films “Widows” and “Beautiful Boy” and the books “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite and “A Place For Us” by Fatima Farheen Mirza. —Brittany Moseley, Assistant Digital Editor

WATCHING: "Fireplace 4K: Crackling Birchwood from Fireplace for Your Home"

I've binged (meaning I've seen it three times) a Netflix program that's proper name is "Fireplace 4K: Crackling Birchwood from Fireplace for Your Home." There are no kitschy tunes, and it's not decked with décor—just pure crackling dried birchwood slowly burning for an hour's worth of cozy ambiance. Holiday or no holiday, I'll likely queue this up all winter long. You might even catch me playing it on my second work monitor. Forget standing desks, I'm going to make "desk hearth" a thing. —Lauren Reinhard, Marketing Manager

LISTENING: The Sinatra Christmas Album, Frank Sinatra

About 99 percent of the time, I hate Christmas music. I'm not a Grinch; I just really can't stand to hear variations of the same few songs over ... and over ... and over. My exception, though, is Frank Sinatra's The Sinatra Christmas Album—the reissued version of 1957’s A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra—with my favorite song, "The Christmas Waltz." I grew up listening to this album on my dad's record player while we decorated the tree and sipped hot chocolate, and it's a tradition I carry in my home today. (I swap the hot chocolate for a glass of wine or a hot toddy these days, though.) —Emma Henterly, Special Sections Editor, Columbus Monthly | Editor, Columbus Weddings 

LISTENING: “Life” by Saba

The whole record [Care for Me] is spectacular (look for it among my albums of the year in this week’s Alive), but if you wanted to highlight a single track, this is the one. Musically, the song balances extremes, pairing trap drums with elastic upright bass, and the MC wields his words with blunt force, rapping about the deaths of friends and family members with an urgency that suggests the reaper has long been at his heels. –Andy Downing, Editor, Columbus Alive 

LISTENING: “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah

Audible is very insistent that I download more audiobooks. With a long drive ahead of me for the holidays, I gave in. I just downloaded Trevor Noah’s autobiography, “Born a Crime,” in which the comedian recounts growing up in post-apartheid South Africa. Noah is an excellent narrator, and listening to him talk about his mother’s strength, stubbornness and courage is touching. I’m 30 minutes in and already hooked. A movie’s already in the works, starring Lupita Nyong'o as Noah’s mother. —Erin Edwards, Digital Editor | Dining Editor, Columbus Monthly